We all have that one go-to dessert. The one that is ridiculously easy to make, but looks and tastes beautifully complex. The one we can whip up with minimal effort, the recipe etched in our minds; all we have to do is go through the motions.
Which we frantically do when we get that
phone call text saying “Heyy! Guess what, I’m that friend/relative you totally adore (and maybe secretly detest) and surpriiiise! I’m in town and I’m coming over for dinner tonight, I’ve heard SO much about your cooking, can’t wait to see ya! xo.” You have no choice but to impress. Your reputation is at stake.
Now the friend is here, you’ve gossiped over the meal, and then the inevitable comment comes up, “This country is pretty and all, but it’s SO hot ugh!”
To which you reply with a beautiful, creamy Hazelnut Mocha Ice Cream Pie. The friend is now left stunned by your culinary brilliance.
What your friend doesn’t need to know, is the absolute ease with which even the most basic cook can whip up this little frozen treat. And once you have the basics of this recipe down, you can create your own flavor combination flawlessly.
The first thing you need to do is prepare the crust. You can use your preferred biscuit crust, but we recommend that you use the McVities Vanilla Cream sandwich cookies. The cream helps soften the biscuit, and adds a subtle sweetness that goes really well with the other flavors. If not, use plain digestives, the texture of the biscuit is perfect for this pie. Crush one packet of these in a food processor (or about 10 pieces of your preferred ones). Add 1/4 cup of softened butter and mix well. Here, you have to make a call about how to serve the pie. Either use a springform baking tin for a full pie, or make individual dessert cups (pictured right). Both work wonderfully.
Once the crust is assembled, let it set in the fridge for about half an hour. In the meantime, make your ice cream filling. Use 1 and a half packets of Dream Whip to make fluffy whipped cream (don’t use heavy whipping cream). Add 1 cup (one 240g jar) of softened cream cheese and 1 tsp of vanilla essence. Whisk until smooth.
Separate the mixture equally into two bowls. To one bowl, add 1/2 cup of Nutella and whisk. Taste and add more Nutella if you’d like a stronger chocolate flavor. Add a handful of chopped hazelnuts and fold in.
Mix 1 tsp of instant coffee with 1/2 tsp of water, until dissolved. Add it to the other half of the cream mixture, along with 2 tbsp of sugar. Whisk, taste and adjust the intensity of the coffee flavor as preferred.
Pour the coffee mixture on the pie crust (or divide equally in the individual cups), which should have set by now. Place it in the freezer for at least an hour until set. Once set, add the Nutella mixture and place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours (or overnight, if you have time).
The pie is best served frozen. The ice creamy formation is a bit like soft serve, which means that it will melt fast. You can serve it refrigerated, but the texture will be a bit like mousse. The frozen version tastes much, much better.
You can decorate the top as you like. In the past, we have sometimes saved a little bit of the whipped cream for decoration. Or a little coffee infused chocolate drizzle & some more chopped hazelnuts complement it well.
Tip: if you’re not a fan of coffee, don’t divide the cream mixture, just increase the Nutella to 1 cup and you will have a frozen Nutella ice cream pie.
Here is the coherent (and less rambling) recipe: